Vanessa Balinska graduated from our BA (Hons) Interior Design degree this July and won numerous awards at the graduation ceremony, including House & Garden Magazine's 'One to Watch' and The Deverill Jenkins Award for Professional Practise. We caught up with her to hear about her time at KLC and what she plans to do next.
Name: Vanessa Balinska
What you've given up: Being a full time mum & property developer
Why you gave it up: To gain a qualification in interior design to become professional, commercial and employable
What were you doing before KLC and why did you decide to attend KLC?
I started developing properties for our family to live in from 2001 with a lateral penthouse conversion in Belgravia, a town house in Holland Park, Kensington and a detached family home in Oxshott, Surrey. In 2009 I found myself in a position where I wanted and needed to start a business. I tried different avenues from designing and making cashmere accessories to organising trunk sales with friends but I realised my only passion and greatest successes were designing home interiors. Many friends who had seen the houses I designed asked if I could help them with their homes, but I felt I lacked commercial and business experience that is needed to become a professional interior designer. I decided to embark on a Full Time Interior Design Diploma at KLC. The course was intense especially given that I had 3 young children and lived in Surrey, it was a challenging year but extremely rewarding as I learnt so much about the design industry and the design process. After finishing the Full Time Diploma I then embarked on the one year BA(Hons) course.
Can you identify some of the highlights of your time at KLC?
I enjoyed the diploma but BA (Hons) took the design process to the next level and was even more challenging. I really enjoyed everything about the course but especially the professional practice element of the course as well as the more academic side such as the dissertation. The highlight for me was the ability to incorporate sustainability into most aspects of the modules.
"I enjoyed the diploma but BA (Hons) took the design process to the next level and was even more challenging." Vanessa Balinska
What were the challenges?
The challenge was learning industry software such as Autocad, 3Ds max, Photoshop and InDesign whilst incorporating these skills into the design projects.
Where to from here, what are your plans and aspirations for the future?
I would like to use my knowledge and experience to continue working on projects with clients and developers. I would also like to integrate my passion for sustainable design within projects.
Vanessa at the 2014 graduation ceremony recieving her award from Gaby Deeming of House & Garden Magazine
"I thoroughly enjoyed the BA year despite the intense workload and steep learning curve. It is a very professionally geared course that has helped me endlessly whilst setting up my own business. The professional practice lectures were especially helpful as they outlined the law and professional side of an interior design company. The depth of technical detailing has also helped me understand areas of construction that I never thought would be need. We were lucky to have tutors with vast technical knowledge who made themselves available via email even on the days we weren’t at school." - Vanessa sums up her time on the BA (Hons) course with KLC
To see more of Vanessa's work visit her website here http://www.vanessabalinska.com/